Monday, July 26, 2010
MacKenzie turned her key in the lock and nudged the door open, she was home. It was a bit too bitter-sweet as she was happy to have the space but already ached that she'd left him behind. She dumped her keys and dropped her bags, the sunlight bled into the living room welcoming her home. Dust caked all her tabletops and the apartment seemed so small after weeks in Jon's spacious one, his living room alone could swallow her place whole. She unpacked her laptop and files, she needed to dig into the case and go over everything with a careful eye. Maybe she missed something, something that explained why they would try and make an example of Jon and something that would indicate just how far they would go to do it.
She was faced with her reality with Brian, but this time she was going to make sure that she did the right thing. Yes she left him but removing herself from the equation was the right thing to do, for now. The sadness in his eyes had followed her out the door all the way home and it was destroying her from the inside out. She wanted to fix this, make it up to him so he could look at her the way he used to, the way a man looked at the woman he loved.
God she’d have to shop, her cupboards were barer than Mother Hubbard’s. Something else she never had to worry about being at Jon’s, an endless supply of food. She settled in at her desk and fanned out her files. Disappointment hit her square in the chest when she checked her Blackberry and there were no messages from him, why would she expect there to be? She was the one that walked on him.
She made herself a pot of coffee and settled in with her laptop and after fifteen minutes of staring at the screen that might as well have been in Chinese, she gave up.
The rain had eased and the sun was fighting its way back through the clouds. She needed to get out and clear her head and then think about facing the disgusting task of shopping. She threw her iPod and runners into a bag, collected her purse, keys and left. The beach had always been her place where she could breathe when life was taking her by the throat. She needed to breathe. All the emotion from the last few weeks was bubbling away inside of her, and she didn't know how much long she could manage it.
She checked her piece and clicked on the safety, it was better to be safe even if she was alone. She’d been a target before so there was nothing to indicate that it wouldn’t happen again. And that was the problem, with all the cases she’d dealt with in the past, they were cut and dried and she could logically dismantle them. This one she couldn’t and it was killing her.
There was always a fine line between the police when it came to gangs, it slotted into a grey area where police would either turn a blind eye or they just didn’t have enough evidence or guts to convict anyone. The reality was from her years on the force she knew more than likely it was a case of don’t touch us and we won’t touch you. This case wasn’t consistent with normal gang behaviour either, most gang trouble was between the gangs themselves, not innocent people. They usually were the ones that got caught in the crossfire.
Why Jon? Surely the point had been made for a little scare since the he rejected the kid from the Soul. It just didn’t make any sense to her. Something bigger was in play here and she needed to work out what that was before it was too late and before she lost the man she loved. Her feet pounded against sand and the blast of bitter salty-air was much needed as she turned up the dial to an old Bruce classic. The beach was deserted except for a couple of diehard fitness freaks with their dogs, hell it was November after all.
Even in the wide open space she felt like the walls were closing in on her. She picked up the pace and worked through the muscle burn. MacKenzie wasn't a traditional girl in any way but falling in love this way was just ridiculous. He wasn't exactly your normal kind of guy either---no he was something entirely else, something special. She wondered if she'd met Jon under a different circumstance if they would still have this attraction. When you were forced to pretend to be with someone, touch them, god kiss them. The buzz his kiss alone was enough to make anyone a little stupid, problem was it made her a lot stupid.
The croon of Springsteen washed over her and the tension eased from her body. She should have stayed and talked to Jon but they were both as stubborn as each other so ending up at each other's throats was really no surprise. She stopped, caught her breath and bent over to stretch. God, she was so stupid sometimes, if she'd just explained to him it was for his own good and snapped him out of his own sulking fit, things might have been better.
She sank down into the sand and hugged her knees. God, and who could forget the sex? Unfreakingbelievable. She closed her eyes and still felt her skin rush against his, his hot mouth down her neck and his hands all over her. Her eyes popped open as her phone buzzed on her hip. She snagged it and then sighed letting it got to voice-mail. Her father could wait, she'd call him back tonight as she was far too content with the feel of the ocean on her face and finally being able to think a little clearer.
Her thumb hovered over Jon's number, what could she possibly say to him now when he was so pissed off with her? She'd made a mistake and it was time to be completely honest with him, she'd give it a night, let the air cool between them and then go back when David had settled in tomorrow.
She managed a small smile and relaxed her shoulders, it would be OK, she would make it OK. She enjoyed the sea for a little longer and then doubled around finishing two miles for a light workout. She slowed to a jog when she reached the parking lot and noticed a figure beside her car in a cap, hoodie, and baggy jeans. He couldn't be any older than a late teen. She glanced around, the rest of the place was deserted so he was alone. Her hand rested on her hip where steel bit through her sweater, she was taking no chances. She hurdled the small fence and when she looked up he was gone. What the hell? She did a three-sixty and panicked he was going to mind fuck with her but there was no one. Coincidence? She let herself into her car and locked the doors and smoothed her hands down her legs. She would call David when she got home but there was no doubt that this wasn't just about Jon any more.
The rain continued to thrash the windows in Mercer Street and Jon sat cross-legged on his bed with his Mac. He'd been making sure that the next two weeks at least he wasn't going anywhere to public functions with his guy, he was being an ass but hell. She just up and left him. Just when he fell in love with the woman and was prepared to lay his heart out on the line. He reached for his cigarettes, he tried not to smoke in the apartment but right now he didn't give a fuck. He lit one and lay back against his pillows, what a cluster fuck. He was now left with someone babysitting him which was exactly what he tried to avoid right at the beginning of this whole mess. MacKenzie had worked out well, better than he ever could admit and they got on so well, it hadn't taken any effort at all if he had to be honest.
He glanced over to his bedside table where her planted bottle of ginger lotion sat, what he would give for a real whiff of her scent as she walked past him or leaned over him in the kitchen to reach something. He couldn't even explain in words how he felt about her, it had snuck up on him which wasn't like him at all. The truth was as hard as it was to admit, she held him together in all of this and now she was gone. He reached for the bottle of lotion, he wanted to smash it into a billion pieces against the window, and it’d make him feel better before he'd be pissed off that he'd made one hell of a mess.
He had been no angel in this and he could have told her not to go, he could have also told her why. But his pride got in the way. He never needed anyone, but having her around in all of this had made it so much easier. He was scared as shit, but hell at least he had her to rely on, to depend on, until now. Not to mention the fact that he could have told her he loved her, she'd put herself out there more than once and he'd made her feel like an idiot. Stupid fucking pride. He hadn't expected to love anyone after Dorothea but MacKenzie just...she just fit, more than Dot ever had. The problem he had was it had been too easy to fall in love with her and Jon from experience didn't trust anything that came easy.
He'd opened an email to compose five times now and trashed every one. For one of the best song-writers he couldn't even put into words what he wanted to say to her. He shook his head and closed the lid of his laptop, he'd just have to wait it out. This was all just relative to the big picture, his livelihood was under threat in a way that was his worst nightmare and the horror of it all is he had no control over it. Not one little shred.
He squashed out his butt and got off the bed, his stomach was grumbling so he headed up to the kitchen not really enthralled by the possibility he'd have to talk to his new house guest. He stepped into the living area where David was standing talking on his phone facing the city at the window and crossed his arms.
"Uh huh, I'll follow up on that and don't worry I have it under control, thanks Mac---take care I'll call you in the morning."
Jon curled his fingers into a fist, just the mention of her made him want to snatch the phone off him and talk to her. David snapped his phone shut and turned around, "Oh hey---Mac is home and settled ok."
Jon shrugged, "do I look like I care?" Christ, he really just couldn't help himself.
David rested his phone down and shoved his hands in his jeans pockets. "Look Jon, I know you're angry with her but she's done the right thing and it's not as if she's--"
Jon held up his hand, "we're not discussing her, she's made her intentions clear in this whole situation. I wanted something to eat, I assume that's allowed?" God, he was being a prick and he knew it but right now he didn't care.
David sighed, "Jon it doesn't have to be this difficult I'm here to protect you. I'm sorry you don't feel that way but MacKenzie wasn't in a position to do that and care for you at the same time."
Jon shot his head back up. "Don't you dare talk to me about us, it's none of your business." Of course the anger that rushed through blinded any clear logic he usually prided himself on. .
David held up his hands, "ok---I get it. I wish you'd be more co-operative about this Jon. I'll get out of your way, I need a shower and I may use your gym if you don't mind."
Jon shrugged, "do what you want. I'm going to eat and then go to bed." He doubt he'd get any sleep between the bottle of lotion that taunted him nightly and the fact he was being a pain in this ass.
"Thanks, when I come back we'll talk about your schedule, you know if you just hide inside it will just show them they're winning right?" David didn't wait for him to answer and left him there while he clicked his teeth.
He went to continue to the kitchen but something on David's laptop caught his eye. "What the hell..." he looked up at the empty staircase and sat down when he heard the shower start. His eyes widened, the email detailed an email that was addressed to him and been forwarded to David's email address. Jon scrolled the touch pad and felt his skin turn cold. The email had been sent today and son of a bitch they'd been intercepting his email. MacKenzie had asked for all this detail when she moved in but he was sure as fuck she didn't say that they read his fucking emails. His knuckles turned white, he was sick of the secrets, sick of living the life of a caged animal. The e-mail’s sender looked like a generic mailing list but it detailed a phone number that asked Jon to call.
He snatched his hand away, he knew he should just walk away and let David deal with this. But fuck, they wanted to talk to him? What the fuck about? He stood up and paced up the window and raked his hand through his hair. He glanced back at the computer, what if he could take control of this situation? Ask them exactly what the fuck they wanted from him? It was possibly the worst idea he'd ever had but he reached for the thick phone pad and scribbled down the number, tucked it into his jeans and disappeared into the kitchen.
He pulled up the fixings to make a peanut butter sandwich but his hand wavered as he tried to spread it across the bread. Fuck, he should just ask David what the hell he was going to do with that phone number and leave it up to them to sort the fuck out. He tugged open the fridge and pulled the bottle of Pinot Grigio out and took a swig from the bottle.
Maybe this is what they wanted, just to talk to him, maybe they wanted money? Then he'd have certainty, the one thing he was missing from this picture. He was fucking sick of being on edge every five minutes and wondering of his children were still alive, and now Kenzie was out there in it all somewhere. Well fuck that. Jon finished the sandwich and went back to the bedroom and locked his door, he picked up his iPhone and slowly tapped the number in and waited.